Danau Poso Travel Guide

Danau Poso (Lake Poso) is Indonesia’s third deepest lake and is located in south Central Sulawesi. It is beautiful but is today rarely visited by tourists due to recent strife in the region.

Lake Poso, measuring 32kms by 16kms, is located at around 650m above sea level and is a lot cooler than many places in the region. Danau Poso was a major tourist destination in Sulawesi before the outbreak of violence in 1998 left many dead and scared tourists away. It is safer to visit today although facilities are lax and have fallen into ruin for the most part.

Those who do visit will find a stunning blue lake surrounded by pretty beaches and a black orchid forest. The lake shores are comparable to the beaches of Lombok, such is their beauty. There is also a fair amount of wildlife at Danau Poso, including the pig deer (babirusa) and the dwarf buffalo (anoa), both of which are endangered and indigenous to Sulawesi.

The town of Pendolo in the south is the main settlement in the region, with Tentena at the northern end. Head for Bancea village for the wild orchids.

Getting There & Away

Danau Poso is a good 4 hours by bus from Palu (the Central Sulawesi capital), going by way of Sabulu. Palu’s Mutiara Airport is the main gateway to Central Sulawesi, with 2-hour flights from Jakarta, where the country’s main international airport resides.

Things to Do

Danau Poso Attractions

Lake Poso

The star attraction has lovely beaches amid rainforest cover and harbors many rare plants, animals and fish.

Side trips from Danau Poso

Bancea village

Situated around the lake, this village is a stunning park of wild black orchids.


Poso Lake Festival

Starting back up in 2007, after years of unrest put sway to the event, this colorful december festival features parades of merry locals.